— -- A federal judge has denied a request by lawyers for Camille Cosby, Bill Cosby's wife of more than 50 years, to be excused from an upcoming deposition for a civil case against the famed comedian.
In early December, lawyers for seven Bill Cosby accusers suing the entertainer for defamation in Massachusetts federal court had subpoenaed Camille Cosby. In court documents, the women said the embattled comedian "drugged and/or sexually assaulted each" of them.
Bill Cosby filed a defamation countersuit against the women on Dec. 14.
According to court documents, Camille Cosby's lawyers sought to quash the order to testify at the deposition, citing Massachusetts' marital disqualification law, "or in the alternative, a protective order limiting its scope."
In court papers, the federal judge said that her lawyers had argued the subpoena had caused an "undue burden" on Bill Cosby's wife of more than 50 years, contending "that the value of any potentially admissible information is outweighed by the public interest in protecting marital communications."
The judge, however, disagreed with those assertions.
"I find no merit in Mrs. Cosby's arguments," the judge said in the order, "and accordingly deny her motion in its entirety."
The judge ruled that her feelings did not outweigh the potential significance of her testimony and that because of Camille Cosby's dual role as Bill's wife and business manager, it was possible that she may have information relevant to the civil case.
The magistrate judge also refused to order a delay in the deposition or to limit its scope.
On Wednesday, Bill Cosby was charged with aggravated indecent assault, stemming from an alleged incident in 2004. He appeared briefly in a Pennsylvania court and was released on $1 million bail. He did not enter a plea.
Bill Cosby has been accused by dozens of women of sexual misconduct, with many of them coming forward in the last year. He has consistently denied the claims.
If convicted, Cosby faces up to 10 years in jail and a $25,000 fine. He is not expected back in court till mid-January.
Camille Cosby's deposition is scheduled for Wednesday in Massachusetts.